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Critiques of House energy bill

Most environmental groups applaud, but the legislation's requirement for renewable sources of electricity is one main point of contention.

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One way or another, US energy policy affects climate issues. Through government restrictions or subsidies, fossil fuels and the greenhouse gases they produce will rise or fall depending on what Washington lawmakers do about energy for power production and transportation.

Before it skedaddled for its August break, the US House "approved $16 billion in taxes on oil companies, while providing billions of dollars in tax breaks and incentives for renewable energy and conservation efforts," reports the Associated Press.

"The bill would repeal for oil companies a tax break given in 2004 to help domestic manufacturers compete against foreign companies, and another tax break pertaining to income from foreign oil production. The ... bill also includes an array of loan guarantees, ... grants and tax breaks for alternative energy programs."

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who managed to corral fellow Democrats cool to some parts of the bill, called it "a momentous decision on energy and global warming," even though, as the San Francisco Chronicle reported, it wasn't a total victory for her.

"Democrats didn't get everything they wanted in the bill – including a big increase in federal fuel economy standards for all cars and trucks. Pelosi supports the proposed increase, but she yanked it from the bill in the face of ... opposition from auto state Democrats."

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